The touring game has changed drastically in the past decade, with bands often foregoing the 25-dates in a van route for several performances at festivals around the country. With ridiculously rising gas prices, the festival option allows smaller bands to play in front of more people than they likely would at a club or bar. To that end, The Hullabaloo Music & Camping Festival has become our area’s premier summer time music festival with strong ticket sales each of the past three summers. This year’s Hullabaloo is shaking down this weekend (September 5 – 8) at a new location: Sokol Park in Bellevue.
Started by the Kris Lager Band (KLB), Hullabaloo has become one of the metro area’s premier summertime activities. This year’s festival has something for everyone, taking extra steps to ensure there are options for more than just the casual music lover. Activities beyond the music include outdoor midnight movies, a 9-hole Frisbee golf course, ping pong, basketball courts, inflatables, badminton, full playground, picnic tables, on-site massages, local food and craft vendors, hooping and pottery workshops, a “Burning Man” style bonfire, a parade, community art projects and a unique theme for every night of the event (Thrifty Thursday, Freaky Friday, Sinful Saturday and Soul Salvation Sunday).
“We love going to festivals and playing them,” says Brandon Miller the brainchild of the festival and also a member of KLB. “So we thought it would be fun to start our own festival and invite all our friends from Omaha and also all our friends we’ve met on the road. We have stuff for everyone, my whole family gets involved. You know, my cousin plays in a band and family is important. We don’t want anyone to not be included. We want the young kids to come out here and be a part of it.”
“It’s great for the bands too because they get in front of a larger audience,” he added. “They get to play in front of people who might not go to their show. It’s great for bands as well because you usually get paid more for a festival which has also been kind of hindrance when you’re booking bands because they expect more money.”
Judging from the stellar line up of national, regional and local acts, Miller and crew didn’t have much of a problem booking spots and filling out the festival’s roster. This year’s lineup includes performances from: Aaron Freeman (Gene Ween of Ween fame), Blackalicious, Icky Blossoms, KLB, Monophonics, Pimps of Joytime, The Floozies, Samantha Fish, Jon Wayne and The Pain, Andy Frasco and The U.N., Sophistafunk, Spoonfed Tribe, Dumptruck Butterlips, Blue Martian Tribe, Mama Lenny and The Remedy, Henry and The Invisibles, Jake Briscoe and The Moonlighters, Ian Hilmer, Monstars, Low Spark, Bassthoven, Sharkweek, Purveyors of The Conscious Sound, Funk Trek, Djem, Midland Band, Hector Anchondo Band, John Klemmensen and The Party, Linear Symmetry, Cadillac Flambe, Artillery Funk, White Wolf T-Shirt, DJ Destro, and Lovedrunk.
In its third year, Hullabaloo has grown incrementally each year and plans to continue that trend. This year, along with this weekend’s festival, there has been a Hullaba-cruise and Hullabaloo West in North Platte. The mini-events all lead up to a spectacular local festival.
Hullabaloo takes place Thursday, September 5th through Sunday, September 8th at Sokol Park, 905 Allied Road in Bellevue. A full weekend pass, which includes camping, is $80 and single day tickets are available for in a host of packages. For more info or to purchase tickets ahead of the festival (they will be available at the gates) visit hullabaloomusicfestival.com